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Trump’s withdrawal from UNESCO is a huge gift to the Palestinians

The US and Israel were often the only countries that stood in the way of passing resolutions critical of Israel

Image Credit: AP
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization logo is pictured on the entrance at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris.
Gulf News

Washington: The Trump administration announced last week that it plans to withdraw from UNESCO—an organisation that promotes core US strategic interests around the world.

Rather than stepping up to combat the “anti-Israel” bias they allege at UNESCO, the Trump administration has chosen to turn tail and run, completely ceding influence to other powers such as China, Russia and the Arab states in an organisation that makes decisions on everything.

In recent years, the Palestinian delegation and their sympathisers have pushed through a series of resolutionscritical of Israeli actions in Palestine..

The United States, through its seat on UNESCO’s Executive Board - the key decision-making body - has prevented enforcement of these resolutions. Since the current director-general only enforces resolutions adopted by consensus, the United States’ “no” vote - often the sole “no” vote - has been crucial in blocking implementation of these resolutions.

With the Trump administration abandoning the United States’ seat at the table, and Israel joining that decision, the Palestinians and their supporters can now pass resolutions without worrying about obstruction or interfering frm the US or Israel..